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Velvet antlers are starting to stink

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by Curtis, Feb 27, 2017.

  1. Curtis

    Curtis Member

    Received my first set of velvet antlers this past season. Was actually an oddity deer, killed the last day of deer season which was in January. Antlers were in full velvet and rock hard so I used the antler in velvet tan just like the directions said. I applied every day for 3 days and have them drying now. Yesterday I noticed a slight smell to them and also today. Some of the hair even pulled out and I feel if I tried the velvet would slip right off the antlers. Seems like the main issues are around the base of antlers rest of velvet appears set. I went ahead and applied another coat of the tan today and have them hanging to dry. Am I fighting a lost battle? Really aggravated cause I did exactly like the directions on the bottle said to do.
  2. mopsrdrawer67

    mopsrdrawer67 Member

    You may just need to let them 'air out' outside for a week or so. The fact that it still had velvet on the antlers in January leads me to believe that the buck may have had his genitals injured which will sometimes keep them from losing their antlers, they just keep growing. I don't know the ins and outs of it all, but I had one in the same situation several years ago, and I actually had to drill into the bases of the antlers from inside the skull cap and remove and dry out blood that was trapped inside the antlers. They somehow had become more of a horn than an antler!
    I'm sure others have had this situation come up and they may be able to shed more light on it than I. Good luck.

  3. mark w

    mark w Member

    Had my first 2 years ago, same thing, finaly striped them and sent to be redone, came back perfect
  4. Curtis

    Curtis Member

    Yeah mark that's probably what I'm gonna do. Had a fan on them for days and not making much difference. Seen good reviews on replica racks velvet service and there just up the road from me.
  5. Duckslayr

    Duckslayr Active Member

    If you want to save them, there are a few tricks to try. I'd soak with denatured alcohol daily for a few days, then let dry completely (couple weeks even). If the velvet will dry, the smell will go away.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  6. mark w

    mark w Member

    Thats who did mine. Good luck
  7. ortegageno

    ortegageno Active Member

    Just because you follow the directions to the T does not mean your results are gonna be perfect every time. Think about this. Do you put tanning oil on a raw cape and call it tanned? No if the antlers are still a bit raw underneath than it needs to be cured or cleaned out first . Even on hard horn underneath you can still get a needle and inject Denatured alcohol up the vein line. I use 50/50 denatured alcohol and formaldehyde then apply the tanning solution. If all fails take the power washer and strip them then send to get artificial velvet.
  8. I tried the bottle in velvet tan on an axis in soft velvet. I injected about 1/2 the bottle and painted on another 1/4 of bottle. They started to smell, after a few days, The smell went away after a few day. Now the velvet is sticky, like they wont dry. not sure what i did wrong... will probably strip them and send them off off.
  9. sgsmith

    sgsmith Member

    We had a large velvet mule deer (a cactus buck) a couple of years ago that we did a euro on with artificial velvet. After cleaning, whitening and all, the antlers were fragile and one side broke about 2 inches above the burr the inside was a powder chalk like substance. The chalk substance went up into the antler about 4 inches. The outside of the antler was about 1/4 inch thick, cleaned it out, put in a rod and epoxy to repair it. Ended up repairing both sides the same way. We then put the artificial velvet on it was good to go.
    More than likely the Jan deer antlers are full of living tissue and will stink unless cleaned out.
    We have better success putting on artificial velvet in our shop and it looks a lot better than preserved velvet. I
  10. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    We have had countless numbers of posts about velvet antlers. The velvet stages are not all the same. Eary stage, late stage, antlered does, hermaphrodites, they are different and require different treatment. Unless its a late summer velvet rack ready to shed its velvet, with hardened antler underneath, I cannot see why a person wouldnt just get them freeze dried. That however, doesnt help you now at this point. If it were me, Id put them in a strong pickle, even krowtan, and let them tighten up. Id drill the bottoms from the skull cavity up, to drain. Id dry thoroughly, then treat with borax water, and dry again. IF that holds, Id comb out the hair. The suggestion of using denatured alcohol could work too, but Id submerge...
  11. byrdman

    byrdman Well-Known Member

    soak and inject in da and get them into a freeze dry machine
  12. I am aware that many in the U.S. do not / will not use formaldehyde at all but it is the best method of preserving velvet that i have used, just dont get it on your skin or breath the fumes , mix with water @ 1:3 and paint this solution on antlers or submerge 1 side then the other , do this 4 or 5 times a day for 4 days then allow to dry in a well ventilated space , once properly dry there is NO smell , the formaldehyde kills bugs , makes flesh unpalatable to bugs & changes the chemical construction of flesh as to preserve it .
  13. byrdman

    byrdman Well-Known Member

    form. does not control shrinkage or bleeding like freeze dry.....without something else added
  14. Galen

    Galen 218-263-7177 www.EdgewaterTaxidermy.com

    I have Freeze Dry Machines and can Freeze dry racks in Velvet .

    please keep me in Mind

    Galen Getting
    Hibbing Mn
    Central time zone